07.12.2023

by Mateusz Mazur

Swedish Gaming Authority Weighs in on Proposed Gambling Tax Increase

The Swedish Gaming Authority, Spelinspektionen, has recently commented on the proposal outlined in a memorandum to increase the point tax on gambling from 18% to 22% of the gross gaming revenue for each taxation period.

sweden

This change, as announced in the Government’s 2024 budget proposition, is expected to raise tax revenues by SEK 0.27 billion in 2024, and subsequently SEK 0.54 billion annually.

Spelinspektionen’s Perspective

While Spelinspektionen does not explicitly oppose the proposals, it highlights potential difficulties in foreseeing the actual consequences of this proposed change.

Particularly, the regulator points out that a higher gambling tax could impact the channelization rate, a measure of how much gambling is captured by licensed versus unlicensed operators.

Market Trends and Concerns

Recent market data reveals significant trends in the gambling sector. Between the third quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2023, the Swedish gambling market experienced consistent quarterly growth.

However, this trend halted in the second quarter of 2023, with a 1% decrease in turnover compared to the same quarter in 2022, a trend that continued into the third quarter of 2023.

This downturn was especially noticeable among license holders subject to gambling tax. Spelinspektionen, therefore, suggests that these market changes might lead to a reduced tax base, raising questions about the long-term sustainability of the proposed tax increase.

Our Comment on the Article

The insights from Spelinspektionen, underscore the complex dynamics at play in the gambling market. While the tax increase aims to boost government revenues, its impact on market channelization and long-term tax base stability cannot be ignored.

The challenge for policymakers will be to balance these revenue goals with the health of the gambling sector, ensuring that the increase does not inadvertently drive players towards unlicensed operators, thereby undermining the very purpose of the tax hike.

The cautious approach by Spelinspektionen reflects a deep understanding of the market and signals a need for a well-thought-out strategy as the proposal moves forward.

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